The Wolfpack : Film Review

By Leslie Byron Pitt The more you consider the bizarre tale of The Wolfpack, that harder it is for you to bend your head fully round it. The documentary about seven siblings, homeschooled and confined in their Lower East Side Manhattan apartment, away from the waking world by their father, evokes grim thoughts of the deplorable Josef Fritzl. This tale not as grievous as the acts of Fritzl, yet it does ponder a certain amount of concern. We observe Angulo...

The Dance of Reality : Film Review

By Stephen Mayne @finalreel Has it really been 25 years since maverick Chilean Alejandro Jodorowsky last released a film? Such is his ability to burn surreal imagery permanently into my memory, it’s hard to believe he’s been absent for so long. Not that he’s been resting on his laurels of course. The intervening years since The Rainbow Thief (1990) have seen him dabbling in a wide array of cultural pursuits, from theatre to comics. It’s good to have him back...

A Dozen Summers : Film Review

By Stephen Mayne @finalreel It takes something a little bit out there to reveal how crushingly conventional so much of what we watch is. We all love the familiarity that comes with genre of course, and conventions often become conventions because they’re simply the best damn way of doing something, but where’s the excitement? As far as family films go, Canadian émigré Kenton Hall knows. His feature debut A Dozen Summers shows its budgetary constraints, and with such a frenetic...

Spare Change : Film Review

By Miranda Schiller @mirandadadada   Quirky twenty-something underachiever Jane gets fired from her job for being too quirky and underachieving and has to come up with a way of earning a living that doesn't involve having to be on time or doing any actual work. For the spoilt child of rich parents she is, begging on the streets isn't the first thing that comes to mind, but after being mistaken for a beggar by a sympathetic passer-by, she and her...

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. : Film Review

By Stephen Mayne @finalreel Russia’s increasing global belligerence raises concerns in most, but not all quarters. One part of America in particular is likely to relish the return of the old enemy. For Hollywood, there will be no need to drag out hard to locate Islamic terrorists, bland corporate villains or implausible neo-Nazis. The Cold War is back and it’s time to hang the celluloid bunting. Time has moved on of course. Celluloid is turning digital across the film industry,...

IRIS: Film Review

By Hannah Claire Pinnock, Arts Critic IRIS is an engaging and truly witty documentary showcasing the life of Iris Apfler, one of those marvelously eccentric characters that seem to be unique to the New York fashion scene. Acclaimed documentarian Albert Maysles paired up with the 93-year-old to document her remarkable creativity and exceptional life in interior design and as a fashion icon. Iris Apfler is an expressive dresser; her accessories would on anyone else seem superfluous. She manages to effortlessly...

52 Tuesdays : Film Review

By Ellery Nick @Ellery_Nick With the eyebrow-raising presence of Caitlyn Jenner in our mainstream news, it would seem a timely moment to hear the story of a transgender parent wrestling with her identity. But, away from the snapping of courageous photos and din of mass trolling, it is a work of fiction, 52 Tuesdays, that provides a refreshing and understated look at what that might actually mean. Winning a Sundance award for her directing, Sophie Hyde’s debut follows sixteen-year-old Billie,...

Dead Rising: Watchtower – Film Review

By Toby Venables @TobyVenables There’s a great moment in Dead Rising: Watchtower when the hero Chase attempts to dispatch a zombified cop in an trash-strewn alleyway. At one end, zombie hordes are moments away from bursting through the gates. At the other, a hideous zombie clown shuffles towards him, dragging an axe. Chase smacks the zom-cop with the first thing to hand: a bag of garbage – but it’s a poor choice of weapon. The cop draws his gun and...

Salute! Sun Yat-Sen : Film Review

By Michael McNulty For many Taiwanese director Yee Chih-Yen’s latest film since Blue Gate Crossing (2002) may go unnoticed, when it shouldn’t. A charming film with socio-economic undertones Salute! Sun Yat-Sen finds itself firmly grounded as a coming of age dramedy. When Lefty, a young man brimming with charm and a smile capable of melting ice caps, finds himself struggling to pay high school tuition fees, he concocts a plan to steal, with the help of his friends, and sell...

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